Teamwork to face disaster

Published 12:41 am Wednesday, November 5, 2014

This much is certain: Disaster will strike. Rivers will flood. Tornadoes will flatten buildings and knock out power. Dams will break. Hazardous materials will spill.

Time to call out the troops from scores of Ohio businesses that have a stake in a safe and functioning state.

A new network of corporate, private and public partners — nearly 90 in all, including grocers, restaurants, retailers and health care groups — is pooling its expertise and capabilities to better equip businesses and the state to respond to calamity.

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The Ohio Public Private Partnership, or OP3 for short, got its start in January — a response, in part, to the summer 2012 derecho that left two-thirds of the state and more than 1 million Ohioans without power during a blistering heat wave.

The state figured there had to be a better way to handle the challenges of natural and man-made calamities.

Government, of course, has long had disaster-preparedness plans, from tornado drills in school hallways to advice for building a bomb shelter. But Ohio’s cutting-edge effort reflects a shift from a government-centered approach toward one of community teamwork…

OP3 has been busy. Corporate partners, including Anheuser Busch, Kroger, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart, helped get more than 31,000 gallons of bottled water to the Toledo area in August after algae bloomed in Lake Erie, producing toxins that fouled the tap water of 500,000 people…

This is an important collaboration, one that can lessen misery, save lives and help communities bounce back.


The Columbus Dispatch